Never perform pranayama after asanas? I am under the impression that first asanas should be done followed by pranayamas and thereafter meditation. Please correct me if I am wrong.

(May 25, 2012)

You are not wrong. According to classical yoga texts, pranayama is always performed after mastering the asanas. The asanas help remove physical blockages in the body and the pranayama generates the cosmic energy that can then flow throughout the body undisturbed. This then provides the ideal platform for deep and transformative meditation. Several schools of yoga also emphasize the importance of relaxing is Shavasana or Corpse Pose after practicing asanas and before doing pranayama. There should be no strenuous exercise of any form after pranayama.

There are several dos and don’t when it comes to practicing pranayama. Yoga teaches that when pranayama is learnt and practiced correctly and under the guidance of an expert, the mind and body will reap unimaginable benefits. However, if done incorrectly, hastily, or when taught unscientifically, there may be more damage than good done to the person practicing. Some important points to note are:

  1. If you have any chronic medical problem, always consult with your doctor before starting pranayama.
  2. There should be no strain on the lungs or difficulty in breathing when practicing pranayama.
  3. Keep a gap of at least three hours between your last meal and your pranayama practice. Heavy meals may require more time to digest.
  4. Ideally, you should practice pranayama first thing in the morning or at the same time every day.
  5. Pranayama should be practiced outdoors or in a well-ventilated room.

Submitted by R J on May 25, 2012 at 06:08

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